Fairforest Presbyterian Church

Fairforest Presbyterian Church

In the year 1776 a plain but spacious log building stood on the eminence where the western square of the wall passes. A traveler whose eye was practiced in such matters would have said that it had been erected twelve years before. That house was then called Fairforest Church. Around it for miles dwelt those who were accustomed to worship at the place. Families of the following names constituted the congregation at that period: Mayer, McIllwaine, Patton, Kelso, Davidson, Strong, Means, Saye, Hodge, Park, Harris, Shaw Kennedy, Barron, Harbison, Cunningham, Thomas, Culberson, Hayney, Faris, Crawford, Clowney, Denny, Thompson, Simpson, Foster, Armstrong and Nesbit.

At the date above written this people had never had a settled pastor nor a stated supply, but were dependent upon ministers from a distance for what is termed occasional supplies. Among those who had visited them for this purpose were the Rev. Mr. Edmonds, John Simpson and Joseph Alexander. The latter was pastor of the Bullock’s Creek Church, twenty-five miles distant, and made frequent visits to the Fairforest people. The spirit of piety was promoted by society meetings. These meetings were held at the church or private houses, as convenience or inclination dictated. The Scriptures were read and other acts of religious worship attended to. Catechetical instruction in families was diligently maintained, and the morals of the rising generation carefully guarded. They who had once enjoyed the benefits of pastoral labor longed for these privileges again. An easy day’s ride to the westward would have carried one beyond the limits of civilization, where the red man of the forest roamed over the wilderness in quest of game or for purposes of amusement or traffic.